Re: ASL Videos -- Summary & Thanks (Long)

Jean Hewlett (
Thu, 8 Nov 2001 13:12:45 -0800 (PST)

Many thanks to everyone who had suggestions about where I might locate
videos with American Sign Language narration, especially Brigid Duffy,
Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza, Peter Delin, Chris Wixtrom, Sarah Hamrick and

Since it seemed like this topic might be of interest to the list, here
is a summary of what I found:

I work on referral, and it took a while before I could actually connect
with the patron and do a follow-up reference interview. It turned out
that she is a special education teacher in a California public school,
and I was able to refer her to the California Department of Education's
Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology. They have an
extensive collection of ASL Videobook versions of popular children's
books and school textbooks. These videos are available free to all
California public schools. Most of the story videos are at the K-3
level, but this teacher felt that her particular group of middle school
students would still enjoy them. Anyone who would like more information
about this collection should contact Kelly at 916-323-5009(voice) or

Another exceptionally useful source is This site
includes a list of ASL Videos You Can Get Free, a huge source list
titled Where To Buy ASL Videos, and a database of video reviews. ASL
Access is a nonprofit organization that places collections of 200 ASL
videos in public libraries. Each of their "gift" collections costs
around $7700, which is usually raised by donations from library patrons,
the library's friends group, or a grant from an outside foundation.
Their volunteer staff does all the work involved in selecting an
appropriate collection, ordering the videos at a discounted price from
many different vendors, and following up to see that all the video
orders are filled correctly and are received by the library. For more
information about ASL Access, contact Christine (Chris) Wixtrom,, voice 707-799-8733, tty 707-799-4896.

Most of the videos I found seem to fall into three catagories: videos
about learning ASL, videos about the Bible or religion, videos intended
for young children. However, there are also a number of others that
would be suitable for general use by teenagers or adults. I was
particularly impressed with the descriptions of several videos
distributed by Moving Images Distribution in Vancouver BC

I posted this question to videolib, which is read by video librarians
around the world, and to libdeaf, which is read by librarians who
specialize in working with deaf and hard of hearing patrons. Nobody was
able to direct me to any commercial programs that include an ASL
narration. Some of us remember seeing television broadcasts with an ASL
translator in a little window at the bottom of the screen, but captioned
videos seem to have pretty much replaced this, at least in commercial

Once again, many, many thanks to all who offered help. This list is a
wonderful resource!

Jean Hewlett
North Bay Cooperative Library System, Santa Rosa CA